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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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228                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
when Baldwin IL, the last Latin ruler of the city, was compelled to sell the lead on the roof of his palace for a paltry sum^ and to use the beams of his outhouses for fuel, nor when he had to leave his son and heir in the hands • of the Capelli at Venice as security for a loan. Still, the selection of the monastery for the emperor's abode3 even under these trying circumstances, implies the importance and comparative splendour of the building. Here Baldwin was in residence when the forces of Michael Palaeologus? under the command of Alexius Strategopoulos^ approached the city5 and here he received the intelligences early in the morning of the 25th of July 1261, that the Greeks had entered the city by the Gate or the Peg£l (Selivri Kapoussi)^ and set fire to the capital at four points. Baldwin's first impulse was to make a brave stand. But his fleet and the greater part of his army were absent from the city5 engaged in the siege of Daphnusium on the coast of the Black Sea. Meantime the fires kindled by the Greeks were spreading and drawing nearer and nearer to the Pantokrator itself. So casting off sword and helmet and every other mark of his station, Baldwin took ship and led the flight of the Latin masters of Constantinople back to their homes in the West.2
The first incident in the history of the Pantokrator after the restoration of the Greek Empire was not fortunate. The monastery then became the object upon which the Genoese^ who had favoured that event3 and been rewarded with the grant of Galata as a trading post, saw fit to vent the grudge they bore against certain Venetians who, in the course of the feud between the two republics, as competitors for the commerce of the East, had injured a church and a tower belonging to the Genoese colony at Acre- To destroy some building in Constantinople associated with Venice was thought to be the best way to settle the out-
1  Niceph. Greg. I. p. 85.  Cf. Canale, Nuwa Storia, ii. p. 153, quoted by Bejin, Lattnitf de C.P. p. 22, *ov*erano la chiesa, la loggia, il palazzo del Veneziani,' cf. Belin, p. 93.
2  George Acropolita,   p.   195.    On   the  contrary,   Pachymeres   represents Baldwin as taking flight from the palace of Blachernae, and embarking at the Great Palace.    See vol. i. of that historian's works, pp. 132-48.